Alan Grant Upchurch was born on December 19, 1950, in Pocatello, Idaho. As a young boy his family moved around the state following constructions jobs, as his father was a heavy equipment operator, and they went where the jobs were. Alan always found solace at his grandparent’s (E. Grant & Edythe Shumway) ranch in McCammon, Idaho. He loved riding his horse “Gypsy,” fishing in nearby streams and playing with his siblings and cousins. His family finally settled in Boise where he attended Cole Elementary, Fairmont Junior High and graduated from Capital High School in 1969.
He showed up unexpectedly one day in 1969 at his mother’s workplace and announced he had joined the Navy. After bootcamp he went to Corpsman school and then Operating Room Technician school in Oakland, California, and was then stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. In 1972 he was flown to the Philippines where he joined the USS Providence, the admiral’s flagship, as part of their medical staff. He served in Viet Nam 1972-1973 and received an honorable discharge in July 1973.
Alan returned to Idaho with his bride-to-be, Nancy (née Guerin) and was married on September 22, 1973. That same year he started work as an Operating Room Technician at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise where he worked for several years before joining private practice with Boise area neurosurgeons as their Surgical First Assistant. He worked with many local neurosurgeons over the last almost 50 years until his death. He loved neurosurgery and has a large extended work family. He always had a story to tell about the interesting surgical cases.
In 1981, his daughter Amber Lee Upchurch was born. Alan couldn’t wait to give her a fishing pole, and they spent many, many camping and fishing trips together along with immediate and extended family members. Alan enjoyed boating, whether fishing or skiing, and, for a while, was always “trading up” to a newer and better boat. He taught Amber to water ski and loved pulling people around the lake skiing or wakeboarding. He also taught her to downhill ski, starting when she was just 3 years old. Another passion was bird hunting and he and Amber would traipse through fields in search of the elusive pheasant.
Alan was also very artistic and would draw and paint. He also enjoyed playing guitar and plunking on the banjo. He once traded his 12-string guitar for a mandolin, which he never quite mastered. He moved to Boise County a few years ago and spent his time improving his property. He always had a project in the works. He also loved his “toys” including his boat, truck and camper, 4-wheeler, and tractor.
Taken from us way to soon, Alan is survived by his daughter Amber Lee Upchurch Craft, DVM, son-in-law Andrew Craft, granddaughters Lillian Maureen Craft and Charlotte Susan Craft, along with his brother Daren (Marcy) Upchurch, sister Kathy (Alan) Snyder, niece Sara Sterner, PhD (Shawn Shafer), nephew Michael (Nashay) Upchurch, former wife, Nancy Upchurch, numerous other friends and family who love him, and his pup Tony. He was proceeded in death by his parents Amsey Albertus Upchurch and Mary Edythe Shumway Upchurch.
Funeral services will be held August 9, 2022, at 11:00am at Cloverdale Funeral Home. A reception will follow at 12:30pm at the Cloverdale Event Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Alan’s name to Eagle Animal Clinic (344 W State St, Eagle, ID 83616) for the animal support fund, which cares for animals and families in financial need.